Beef cattle research faculty from Kansas State University's Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the College of Veterinary Medicine with faculty from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University will embark on a feedlot cattle production and health research program to provide beef industry outreach.This group will focus on two areas of cattle feeding: starting cattle on feed and associated risks with bovine respiratory disease and the end of the feeding period focused on performance, carcass quality, fatigued cattle syndrome, heat stress, acute interstitial pneumonia, liver abscesses, cattle transport and others.Starting in May, this collaborative beef group would like feedlots to participate in a survey study to better understand risks associated with acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP) and liver abscesses. A parallel study will involve interested feedlots to participate in advanced necropsy training for their feedlot employees in coordination with their consulting veterinarian better understanding AIP lesions by sending samples from necropsied cattle to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University. Dr. Dan Thomson describes the research, "AIP cases and liver abscesses are economically crippling issues in our cattle feeding operations. These surveys are important to help us understand risk associated with geography, cattle type, facility design, animal health programs, nutrition programs and weather."
The collaborative beef group was formed to leverage resources to serve common beef producer and veterinary stakeholders in Kansas and Texas through research that will provide solutions for beef cattle health and production issues like AIP in cattle.Dr. Guy Loneragan, Professor at Texas Tech University, a collaborator on team, understands the importance of this type of research, "AIP is a recurring and frustrating problem for feedlots. It typically affects those animals in their prime close to slaughter. AIP needs a solution and we hope to provide that for the industry and this survey is an important part of that process."
The AIP/Liver abscess survey consists of 64 questions.Feedlots that participate will be anonymous. Kansas State graduate students from this beef research collaboration will set up an appointment and come to the feedlot to visit directly to help facilitate or clarify the point of the questions. "We have conducted studies of this style in the past for lameness, veterinary recommendations for BRD management and feedlot facility design," says Thomson. "Past surveys were conducted over the internet. However, to make sure we get everybody on the same page pertaining to animal health descriptive questions, we would like to have a person on the ground working with the general, cattle or office manager. It will help us get a better answer for the industry."
The collaborative KSU beef group would like to begin conducting these surveys starting in May and report the findings back to the industry next fall.To participate, please contact Dr. Dan Thomson at [email protected] or call him at 785-532-4254.